Three Paralympic Qualification times, a new African Record and a bronze medal for Mzansi’s finest during the opening day of the IPC Swimming World Championships taking place at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The 2015 competition also doubles as a qualification event for the 2016 Paralympic Games which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 7 – 18 September 2016. Flying the South African flag high, Hendri Herbst was fast off the block to claim the bronze medal in the S11 100m freestyle, clocking a Paralympic Qualification time of 1:00.35.
The gold in the race went to USA’s Bradley Snyder in a new Championships Record time of 56.78 and the silver to Brazil’s Matheus Sousa in 59.20. Herbst says: ‘I am very happy and proud to have won the first medal for Team SA, with the hope that it inspires my fellow team mates to achieve their own goals and personal bests. My first 50m was really good but I know I have to work on my back end speed when preparing for the Road to Rio 2016.’ In the S10 50m freestyle event, Kevin Paul broke his own 2012 record of 25.49 when he finished eighth in a new African and personal best time of 25.40.
On the ladies side, Beth Nothling finished the S5 50m backstroke final in eighth place with a Paralympic Qualification time of 55.92, while Emily Gray concluded the S9 100m backstroke final in seventh position with another Paralympic Qualification time of 1:16.27. The second day of the IPC Swimming World Championships will see Hendrik Van Der Merwe take to the water in the 100m breaststroke SB5 category, Emily Gray in the 100m freestyle S9 category and Paralympian Kevin Paul in the 200m individual medley SM10 category.